Indigenous cultures around the globe have used clay as a medicine for centuries. The Native Americans called it "Ee-Wah-Kee, " or the "mud that heals," and the Quetchua Indians in South America have used it to keep the intestinal tract clean and healthy by dipping potatoes in it before eating. Dr. Weston A. Price speaks about bentonite clay in his book, "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration," having studied the diets of tribes in Central Africa, the high Andes, and elsewhere. He describes the Australian Aborigines as carrying balls of volcanic clay that they would dissolve in water to dip their food into for healing purposes.
Medicinal clay was first identified in Montmorillon, France, where one of the important minerals it contains was named "montmorillonite." It was also found in cretaceous rocks in Fort Benton, Wyoming, where it retained the moniker, Bentonite Clay. There are bentonite clay deposits throughout the world, with the largest found in the Great Plains area in the United States.
Bentonite clay is an inert substance, meaning it passes through the body in undigested form. It is made up of tiny platelets that contain a negative charge that attract the positive charge of impurities and toxins. When added to water, the clay swells and stretches, becoming sponge-like whereby it traps toxins in its spaces through electrical attraction. Binding impurities, it holds on to their positive ions until they are eliminated through excretion.
According to the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, bentonite clay can absorb a huge range of toxic material, including pathogenic viruses, herbicides, and pesticides. Because bentonite clay travels directly to the unhealthy area, it is able to target toxins there, drawing out such poisons as pus, black blood, and the like. It also kills MRSA, or Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, as well as other potentially lethal infections. Research done at Arizona State University has shown that bentonite clay kills salmonella, E coli and Mycobacterium Ulcerans, among other types of potentially lethal bacteria.
Bentonite clay is extremely gentle on the system, eliminating toxins through the bowels as well as drawing out toxic chemicals through skin's pores. It is often used to eliminate parasites as well as to neutralize poisons in the intestinal tract, eliminate food allergies, and treat food poisoning. It is an excellent treatment for mucus and spastic colitis, viral infections, stomach flu, stomach ulcers, chronic fatigue, menstrual problems, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, arthritis, gum disease, and migraines. It helps boost digestion, circulation, and the immune system as well as balancing and enriching the blood, which makes it an excellent treatment for anemia. Because it contains the important minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, silica, and trace elements, bentonite clay is also used to increase bone formation and strength, as well as help overcome dietary deficiencies. Bentonite clay can also help to heal acne, open wounds, insect and animal bites, and is an antidote for heavy metal poisoning.
There are many commercial pharmaceutical and cosmetic products containing bentonite clay. Mud packs, baby powder, face creams, anti-irritant lotions, protective creams, and wet compresses often include it in their formulae. Bentonite clay can also be used as a filler in drugs due to its absorption qualities.
Bentonite clay can be bought in gel, powder, or tablet form. Used as a regular colon cleanser, bentonite clay helps the body to assimilate nutrients more efficiently. Drinking it on an empty stomach one hour before or after a meal is ideal. Add one teaspoon to a cup of juice daily, increasing the dose up to four times daily to keep the body in optimum health. A bath containing bentonite clay is also good for detoxifying the organs.
Word to the wise: be sure to consult your healthcare provider before starting a bentonite clay regime. Keep your body well hydrated once you begin in order to assist the cleansing process.